NOTE: There is video on social media and news sites showing the FDNY EMTs being struck. I’ve made the decision not to embed the original raw video on this site. Here’s the link to that video if you want to make your own decision about viewing it. The videos below include edited versions from local news.
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An FDNY EMT and mother of five was killed and her partner was injured in the Bronx Thursday when a man stole their ambulance and drove into one of the first responders, sources and witnesses told the Daily News.
The nightmare unfolded in Soundview around 7:10 p.m. as the pair, both women, were responding to a call about a pregnant woman.
They were alerted that a man was riding on the back bumper of their ambulance, officials said.
The EMT, Yari Arroyo, a 44-year-old mother of five and a 14-year veteran of the the FDNY, died at Jacobi Hospital, where her partner, Monique Williams, 31, was treated for minor injuries, sources said.
A 25-year-old man who allegedly stole an ambulance in the Bronx and ran over two FDNY EMTs, killing one of them, a mother of five, and injuring the other, has been arrested on murder and other charges, police said Friday.
A contingent of EMTs stared down Jose Gonzalez as he was led out of the 43rd Precinct, professing his innocence, in handcuffs before dawn.
“I’m innocent, I didn’t do nothing,” Gonzalez, of the Bronx, said as he was walked to a waiting vehicle.
When Arroyo, 44, and her unidentified partner got out to confront him, he powered past them, hopped into the vehicle and started to drive off, the sources said.
Arroyo tried to stop him, clining to the side of the ambulance as the 25-year-old floored the gas pedal, backed into her and then dragged her eight to 10 feet, according to witnesses.
A video of the incident posted on social media shows what appears to be the vehicle rolling over Arroyo.
The mayor said he spoke to some family members, adding that they were going through “unspeakable grief.”
On Thursday night, dozens of ambulances, some with their lights flashing, lined the roads leading to the trauma center at the medical center. Two lines of emergency medical workers extended from the entrance.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said the emergency medical worker was the eighth member and third woman of the emergency medical services to die in the line of duty.
Relatives of the man who was taken into custody said he had been depressed since his mother died when he was an adolescent. The man was known to the police because they have had numerous encounters with him as an emotionally disturbed person, they said.
“She started her shift today like every other today, and then a senseless act of violence takes her life,” de Blasio said at the hospital.
Nigro said the loss was the latest among many.
“No matter how many times we do this, it does not make it any easier,” Nigro said.